In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves 4 basic steps: Stimulation, Retrieval, Fertilization and Transfer.
Most women start their menstrual cycle with a crop of eggs, and by mid-cycle, they have a single mature egg. With IVF, the ovaries are stimulated to produce many eggs and most of them are matured. This is accomplished with fertility medications.
Once the eggs (which are contained in the follicles) are mature, the patient is then ready for their egg retrieval. This involves a mild, sedative anesthetic. Once the patient is anesthetized, Dr. Littman uses ultrasound guidance to retrieve the mature eggs with an aspiration needle. This is all done through the vagina, so there are no scars. The eggs are removed through the needle and given to the embryologist who identifies them and places them into a dish. Contrary to popular belief, this all takes place in a small dish, not a test tube.
Once the eggs have been retrieved, they are then fertilized. Fertilization can occur naturally, where the sperm are placed in the dish and the fastest, luckiest sperm fertilizes the egg. Or, in cases of sperm with poor motility, fertilization can occur via intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI, where the sperm are injected directly into the egg.
After fertilization, the embryos are placed in our triple gas incubators, which most closely replicate the environment of the uterus. They are then grown out to day 3 or day 5 after which they are transferred into the woman’s uterus. This is done by placing a small catheter through the cervix and is a painless procedure and requires no anesthetic.
Depending on the quality of the embryos, there is an approximately 30-80% chance the transferred embryo(s) will produce a pregnancy. With further steps and testing, our Ultra IVF protocol, which includes PGS testing, significantly increases the chance for a successful pregnancy.
We have a certified class 5 clean room IVF laboratory and excellent embryologists, approximately 90% of mature eggs retrieved at our center fertilize successfully.
Though our center may look like a spa when you walk in, we offer all of these services at our fertility clinic. We have an extremely advanced embryology laboratory and use only the latest technology, feel free to ask about touring the facilities.
To learn more about In Vitro Fertilization schedule a consultation by filling out the form to the right or call (702) 262-0079